Tegan Murrell, Dean’s Award of Merit

This student also received the Ruth King Larcom Award.

Major: Accelerated master’s program in mathematics (concentration in optimization)

Minor: Creative writing

Hometown: Western Springs, Illinois

Favorite Experience at UA: While at UA, I have really enjoyed getting to explore my creative side and get into creative writing. I have had the opportunity to study under amazing, talented writers while here. These mentors have helped me grow both as a writer and as a person. My poetry has won the Michael Dalton Goodson poetry prize and been nominated for an AWP Intro Award and American Academy of Poets University Prize.

Favorite Class: I adored English 408 obsessive poetry forms with Dr. Pirkle. It’s hard to pick a favorite writing class, but I like obsessive forms so much, I took this class twice. It’s really cool to learn about different poetic forms and how to follow or bend the rules to your choosing. Some of my coolest poetry has come from these forms.

Future Plans: My first goal is to publish a book of poems in the next couple of years. I would like to move to leave Academia for a few years and work as a technical writer or maybe do data science for a non-profit before getting an MFA in creative writing. My biggest, most abstract goal, is to find a job or lifestyle that’s inspiring and exciting.